Currently showing posts tagged Hip Hop

  • Ken Jen

    Two names that abruptly come to mind when discussing top-notch celebrity jewelers are Johnny Dang, also known as “TV Johnny,” and Koreatown’s very own Ben Baller. Not only do they share an affinity for providing high-grade gems in extremely rare forms, both bling connoisseurs are of Asian descent.  LA-based jewelry designer Ken Jen is meticulously molding and polishing his own diamonds to shine bright in the industry, just like his OGs from the Far East.

    The 24-year-old entrepreneur’s come up is nothing short of spectacular. Born in Taiwan, Ken moved with his family to Shanghai at the age of seven.  After receiving a green card eight years later, Jen and his brother (sans parents) flew to the states---Austin, Texas to be exact.  “I was not a big fan of living in Texas,” Ken admits. “The culture is way different from China, but it wasn’t what I expected.  I was pretty young at the time so no complaints.  I was really there for school and to learn english.”

    Although he disliked the new setting, Jen managed to graduate High School with honors. As a matter of fact, his studious ways helped him gain a full scholarship to the University of Texas. During his freshman year, Ken was presented with the opportunity to work in the retail/wholesale industry by an Instagram buddy, which prompted him to immediately drop out of school and move to the West Coast in 2013.

    The city of Angels served as fertile ground that enabled Ken’s wildest dreams to bloom.  He became the COO of his comrade’s retail company in just two years. In 2015, Jen’s interest in the jewelry industry blossomed and Ben Baller himself eventually gave him a shot to work under his wings. Fast forward to now, the former apprentice is flying high all by himself as owner of his three months old custom jewelry company Adamant & Co.

    I recently sat down with the young CEO to further discuss his rise in the jewelry industry, celebrity clients, favorite pieces and fashion industry past. Check out our conversation below:

    FRENDY:   Where did you and your older brother crash when y’all moved to Austin?

    KEN JEN:  We moved there in 2008 and stayed with my dad’s friends, who were our guardians at the time.

    FRENDY:  What was so off putting about living in Texas?

    KEN JEN:  I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. I moved to Texas mainly to learn English. I wasn’t sure what I would be doing after.

    FRENDY:  I came to the United States when I was seven years old from Haiti so I know all about the culture shock that you felt.  What HS did you attend in Austin?  Were you able to make a lot of new friends?

    KEN JEN:  I went to Crockett High School in Austin. I didn’t make many friends my first year and a half because of the language barrier. Eventually, I made some.

    FRENDY:  How long did you know the person from Instagram that blessed you with the opportunity of working in wholesale?

    KEN JEN:  Instagram is great for our generation to link with people. We were friends for about 6 months before he offered me the job.

    FRENDY:  There are tons of catfishes online, what made you trust in him so much?

    KEN JEN: The Internet is a dope place --- it brings a lot of dope people together. You just have to trust it.  We just had similar interests in certain things like fashion, music etc, and he was in the business I wanted to be in.  It was a win-win situation for both of us to work together.

    FRENDY:  Is it safe to say that you weren’t enjoying your stay at the University of Austin since you decided to dip from there at the drop of a dime?

    KEN JEN: All day!  It was one of the biggest decisions of my life. It’s all about trusting the process...taking risks.  Everyone thought I was crazy when I dropped out *Laughs*. I didn’t have a major in college nor did I know what I wanted to do in life.  I got into college on full scholarship, but I kinda went for my parents, you know.

    FRENDY:  Were your parents informed about the big move prior or after moving to LA?

    KEN JEN: No.  I booked a one way ticket to Los Angeles, logged into the wifi on the plane, facetimed my mom and told her the news. Of course my traditional Asian parents weren’t happy with my decision, but they didn’t say much because I was already on the plane.

    I knew I would make it in LA, if not, at least I tried. I mean, I was 20, I had nothing to lose *Laughs*.

    FRENDY:  *Laughs* Talk about taking initiative. What was the first order of business when you moved to California?  And was it difficult for you to flow with LA’s pace?

    KEN JEN: First order of business? Make money! It all came pretty easy for me because my mentors put me on.


    FRENDY:  What were your initial job duties in LA?

    KEN JEN: At the time, my friend and I were attending trade shows like Agenda, buying from other brands and then resale.

    FRENDY:  Where did you guys do the resale?

    KEN JEN: Online and physical shops in Asia.

    FRENDY:  What sparked your interest in the jewelry Industry? And how exactly did you get acquainted with the legendary Ben Baller?

    KEN JEN: I was always a fan of jewelry, but never thought I’d become a jeweler. When I was working with the guy from Instagram, we had a grand opening in China. We flew Ben out for the opening as a guest.

    FRENDY:  What made you depart from the business partnership with your Instagram friend?

    KEN JEN: Failed business because the resale industry wasn’t doing so well. Ultimately, I had to do what was best for me.

    FRENDY:  You said you didn’t get involved with the designing aspect of jewelry while working with Ben, as you only focused on the marketing/sales aspects of things. I see you’re with celebs now, molding their teeth for grills etc.  Are you currently involved with customizing pieces?

    KEN JEN:  Yes. Now I own my own company, where I'm hands on with all aspects of the business.

    FRENDY: Who do you run Adamant & Co. with?

    KEN JEN: I have two partners who are like family.

    FRENDY:  How do you obtain clientele? Word of mouth?

    KEN JEN: Absolutely!  Word of mouth is the best way to promote in the jewelry business. But at the end of the day, as long as I have good product and keep doing the right thing then we’re winning.

    FRENDY:  Do you remember the first person you helped make a piece for?

    KEN JEN: Yeah, it’s been about 2 years and I actually spoke to him just the other day.

    FRENDY:  What’s the process of making a custom piece?

    KEN JEN: To start we need a clear design, and then we will cut the wax of the design. After it is casted into gold. After the gold is done, we discuss diamonds. Last step is polishing/finishing.

    FRENDY:  What are some of your favorite jewelry designs?

    KEN JEN:  Machine Gun Kelly’s championship ring, Kendall Jenner’s grill, Lily Rose’s Chanel logo grill and my personal Bathing Ape piece. I like them because I was with the company I was working for, where I got to see them before the public.

    FRENDY:  In your opinion, what’s the biggest trend in the Hip Hop jewelry world right now?

    KEN JEN: Custom jewelry is changing the game. Jesus pieces, cuban links, iced out Rolex, tennis chains and custom grills are always trending.  The biggest one in my opinion are custom grills.

    FRENDY:  Most people reading this are aware of Nigo’s immense impact in the streetwear industry and jewelry culture. If he ever contacted you to provide him with a custom piece of your own creation, what would it be?

    KEN JEN: *Laughs* I would probably make him an iced out Chinese To-Go box.

    FRENDY:  Are your parents aware of your increasing success?

    KEN JEN: Yes. I’ve been taking care of them since I was 21.

  • Takeoff's Solo Single

    Migos are doing a great job in maintaining their bond despite the media's savage attempt to break them up.

    In the midst of all the divisive rumors, Quavo and Offset took it upon themselves to release their respective solo singles (which I personally think is pure genius).  Following his outspoken group members, Takeoff just dropped a surprise track titled, "Intruder."

    Produced by OG Parker, the tune finds the reserved spitter flexing his rapid-fire flow, as he gives all trespassers a fair warning!

    Check out the jam below:

  • Scales

    To remain relevant in the music world, artists must continually reinvent themselves with original golden sounds that’ll have listeners begging for more.

    Rising Staten Island-bred spitter Cadeem Francis, better known as YF, is more than aware of such productive scheme.  This is why he deliberately took two years off to perfectly craft his art. With a fresh perspective on the game and an arsenal of new tunes, the 25-year-old lyricist has returned to the rap arena with a gruesome vengeance.

    I am proud to exclusively premiere YF’s comeback single, “Scales.” Produced by Ty Goods, the boisterous banger features an undisclosed crooner who undeniably blazed the hook.  I briefly spoke with the LWA (Leaders With Ambition) lyricist to gain a deeper understanding of his much awaited sonic release.

    FRENDY: How did “Scales” come about?

    YF: The record was made last year while I was in Austin, Texas for SXSW. One of my homeboys, Sadiq, introduced me to the singer who eventually ended up on the record. We were roommates for the week while I was in Texas. The vocalist was gone off the acid the first day we met--he was so high I wasn’t even able talk to him. We formally introduced ourselves later that evening. I played some beats and the instrumental for “Scales” stuck out.  He immediately freestyled the hook and that’s how the song came about. I already wrote my lyrics; it more so needed a solid hook, which the homie 100% provided.

    FRENDY: There are tons of drug references in the tune, is there a deeper meaning behind all of the intoxicating lyrics?

    YF: The song came together so perfectly because the majority of the people we stayed with in Austin were hardcore Trappers. The singer was definitely speaking from a buyer’s perspective because certain drugs help him create. As for me, I’ve seen how drugs work the majority of my life. It goes all the way back to Alberta, Virginia where I would stay for the summer to hang with my cousins when I was 14 years old.  My great uncle and my two aunts owned 4 trailers. I wasn’t allowed in one of them because that’s where all the “activity” took place. One day, my curiosity led me to walk in the restricted trailer.  My uncle Walter was there and he showed me everything--from coke to weed, pills etc. I can get deeper but that was the overall introduction.

    I witnessed my uncle sell drugs, which ultimately led him to serve 25 years in Jail.  Somehow he is still making money in the box (which I discuss in the second verse). Now I’m making music and learning how to make money off of it without lifting a finger. Everything was relatable so I had to talk about it in a record.  Basically, the chorus is dedicated to the users and the verses are for the dealers (haha).

    FRENDY: When can we hear more sounds from you? Will you be dropping a tape anytime soon?

    YF: You’re going to hear more sounds from me shortly. I recorded alot of music within the last two years.  I learned to not release all my bangers at once.  I’ll drop a full project depending on the reception of my forthcoming singles.

  • The Making of Upfall

    On Saturday July 23rd, 2016 Shotta Spence held a listening party at Reed Space for his debut project, Upfall. Shame on you if you weren’t in attendance because the 20 year old New Jersey bred spitter surely proved that his passion for rapping isn’t a mere gimmick.

    A mélange of Spence’s hometown friends and exuberant new fans filled Jeff Staples lower east side inferno. Unfortunately, the store’s cooling system was down but that didn’t stop Shotta’s real supporters from turning up.

    The Ear Drummer affiliate’s mixtape boasts 15 original tracks, which are all produced by an assortment of outstanding beatmakers.  Spence’s awesome story-telling ability and melodic flow compliments the instrumentals greatly, making his very first effort into the hip-hop scene a commendable one.

    I recently sat down with the rising star to discuss the inner workings of Upfall and plans of leaving his mark in the game. Check out our conversation below:

    FRENDY: I’ve known you for about 8 years through BAPE. I truly didn’t know music was a passion of yours until you pleasantly surprised me with a freestyle at the shop, one year before my 2015 departure. When did your love of rhyming actually come about?

    SHOTTA SPENCE: I’ve been writing poetry since middle school and I started fucking around rapping in high school with my track teammates. I gave up on recording music sometime during high school and devoted more time to track and making clothes, but I continued to write throughout college whenever I had to get shit off my chest.

    FRENDY: What propelled you to take the craft seriously?

    SHOTTA SPENCE: When I was growing up I used to really look up to my boy Chino who was a rapper and like the flyest dude in my town. He was shot and killed in 2012 and that shit really pushed me to turn up with everything art-related that I was pursuing. Fast forward to 2014, I was in college struggling to keep my grades up while still designing, modeling, styling, doing whatever I could to get my name out there while looking for places to record. I was desperate to find a path out of school because I wasn’t going to last four years in that bitch. So school was fucking me up and then boom, I meet Mike Will while styling a Rae Sremmurd video. This was around my 19th birthday, which is how old Chino was when he passed, and I looked at it as a sign. I remember thinking, “you wanna do music? Here’s yo chance.”

    FRENDY: Initially, Fashion was your creative outlet. You built your very own "Spencer Lee" clothing line from the ground up, and even modeled for brands like PUMA and Yeezy. Was it hard to leave behind your budding career in the fashion industry to fully concentrate on being an artist?

    SHOTTA SPENCE: It wasn’t hard at all because music is really what I wanted to do. I viewed everything as stepping stones though. Doing all of the other shit helped me meet the right people and grow as a creative all around. What was hard though was leaving all of the people that I had been building with in order to focus more on my self.

    FRENDY: What’s the inspiration behind the name of your very first sonic compilation?

    SHOTTA SPENCE: The project is about greed, grinding selfishly and how it can cause you to lose sight of what you truly stand for. It’s also about how death can humble you and remind you of what’s really important, like the friends, family and hometown that’s supported you since day one. The project is really a story of falling off of my prideful throne and thinking it was my downfall, but realizing in the end it brought me closer to the things that really matter. Now I'm truly “up”. Also pay attention to all the times I say “fall” or “up” during the project.

    FRENDY: The rollout for Upfall was executed flawlessly. It’s quite an impressive feat for a rapper who seemingly fell from the sky. How long did it take you to fully complete the project?

    SHOTTA SPENCE: I can’t really say. From 2015 to now I was just writing and recording nonstop and these are the ones that fit together for the project. Most of the records on Upfall were made in 2015 and a few were made this year.

    FRENDY: How did your relationship with Mike Will Made-It come about? Was he helpful in the process of developing your debut?

    SHOTTA SPENCE: I met him while styling the Rae Sremmurd “Up Like Trump” music video. I got that opportunity from Max Hliva, the video director for Ear Drummers, who went to the same high school as me. At the shoot I remember meeting Mike and how we clicked from our first conversation. I remember him saying “damn you remind me of a young version of me bruh.” I was showing him all the clothes I put on Sremm for the video and explaining how I handmade most of my shit. So from that point on he knew me as a creative and he was bringing me with them to all the shows in NY while they were out there. Through Mike I met Aubz, who is the Eardrummer A&R and now my manager. One night in the club we were all twisted and Aubz caught me drunk freestyling and was like, "bro you should be an artist.” Nobody really knew that I was already making music then. I didn’t even tell Mike until one day he called me singing one of the songs I had did over a beat Aubz sent me. I was so gassed cus I remember when he called I was recording in my boy’s basement like “damn how can we make some shit good enough to show Mike.” Since then I just been going in and developing myself as an artist and I always look to Mike for his opinion and guidance on whatever I make. I wanted to do my first project on my own, so me and Mike don’t have any songs on Upfall, but I definitely soaked up a lot of knowledge and sauce just being around Mike and observing how he move and how he creates. I wouldn’t have been able to level up my music if I never met Mike.

    FRENDY: Where did you find all of the talented producers featured on the tape?

    SHOTTA SPENCE: Ducko Mcfli (White Collar), Childish Major (Hot Head/Momma’s Boy), Mike Larrry (Up) and Von Vuai (September) I met in Atlanta through Aubz. I never actually met Murphy Kid (What’s the Word, Nothing 2 Lose) but I got those beats from him through Aubz as well. Me and Kakuyon (Throne, All the Wrong Things) been close friends since elementary school and we ran track together in high school. I’ve also been close friends with Mohntra (Big Body, Getcha Own, Our Glass) since elementary school. All of the producers are ill and I can’t thank them enough for working with me. Producers are often under-appreciated and they deserve as much credit as the artist, if not more.

    FRENDY: What was your favorite track to make and why?

    SHOTTA SPENCE: Probably September. I made it on Chino’s death anniversary (9/27) so I really felt it while I was making it.

    FRENDY: Describe your particular sound in one word.

    SHOTTA SPENCE: Spirits.

    FRENDY: What are you planning to do now since you finally released Upfall? Already working on a new project?

    SHOTTA SPENCE: Yeah just working on the next projects. Other than that I’m gonna get some videos done for Upfall.

    FRENDY: I am proud of the man you are becoming. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    SHOTTA SPENCE: Making better music, traveling, winning awards, packing out stadiums, putting my friends and family in great positions, doing charity work and continuing to work on my craft.

  • Hot 97 Summer Jam 2016 Live Stream

    Yesterday, Mother Nature rained on everyone's parade (festivals, in this particular case) but that didn't stop Hot 97 from continuing it's annual Summer Jam extravaganza.

    The turn up went down at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and featured the biggest names in Hip Hop. To keep it a buck, one of my personal highlights was seeing Ashanti shake her thick behind on stage. Had me hollerin' "What's looooooove?!".

    Check out the event's live stream below:

  • Hot 97's Festival Stage Line Up

    In usual blazing Hip Hop and R&B fashion, Hot 97 is gearing up to present it's acclaimed Summer Jam concert on June 5th.

    Today, the radio station revealed it's roster of artists that will be performing on the Festival Stage, which include Brooklyn rising stars Justine Skye and Desiigner, Dave East, Rotimi, Dougie F, Post Malone, Curren$y, Mr. New Toronto himself Tory Lanez, and ultralight beam spitter Chance The Rapper.

    The Stadium Stage lineup will be unveiled on Friday April 8th.  Tickets go on sale to the general public Saturday April 9th.

    Good luck copping!

  • TIMIN'

    What’s good everyone?  It is with immense pleasure to exclusively premiere the debut single from rising Brooklyn spitter, Brett Bino.

    Titled Timin’, the tonic tune pays homage to the one and only Pharrell Williams. It’s release couldn’t of take place at a better moment as Skateboard P regains full control of his beloved BBC/Ice Cream brand. God’s timing is truly precise!

    Get your Cam Newton on (hey, he’s still the NFL’s MVP) and dab away to Bino’s Stereotistik produced banger below:

  • Everything Good By The Weekend

    Last night, Mac Miller surprisingly released the music video for my favorite track on his recently released studio album GO:OOD AM.

    The celebratory tune, titled "Weekend", features R&B's wild-hearted crooner Miguel, who truly accented the record's emotions.

    Check out it's visual below:

  • Chase B Live on Hot 97

    Man, it's a pleasure to witness the growth of Chase B.  I met the now world class DJ and his confidant Travi$ Scott a few years back while working at BAPE NYC.

    I remember talking to Chase in the shop's second floor about his goal of taking over New York's nightclub scene and in just a few months after that discussion, it all came to fruition...tenfolds.  The Houston bred spin-king's rise to glory is due to his unmatched grind and dedication.

    Yesterday, Chase added another notch in his victory belt by debuting live on Hot 97 !  Now that's what I call a grand entrance to a new year.

    Check out his mix from the radio broadcast below:

  • Artist Submission: Trey Deuce

    Allow me to introduce Lu Trey LaRoux better known in the music arena as Trey Deuce.  I initially noticed my fellow Haitian brother from his frequent stops at BAPE NYC but we never exchanged words simply because the store was always crowded every time he walked in.  It was until my last day working at the SoHo boutique that the budding rapper approached me stating “Man, you’re the fly guy! I always see you all over my Instagram”. With that kind of intro, there was no way I couldn’t be cool with him.

    I actually found out Trey was into music a few weeks ago when we bumped into each other at the subway.  After a whole conversation about the trials of getting his music video done, I told him that we should do business once it was completed. After bouncing back a few emails, here we are!

    I sat down briefly with Trey Deuce to talk about his love of Hip-Hop and the visual for his new single "Calm Vibes".  Check it out below:

    Frendy: When did your love of rap come about?

    Trey: Ahh man good question. I'll say In 1998 when I first saw the music video "Get At Me Dog" by DMX which led to me being a fan of his, then later on with "Ruff Ryder's Anthem", "What These Bitches Want", "Party Up" he had a strong run. Also in 1999 when Cash Money got hot I was fascinated with all the jewelry, women, and all that fast life. Especially the grills. That had me hooked. I can genuinely say I was a Lil Wayne fan way before he got Mainstream hot in the late 2000s. Lastly, lemme not forget bout that white boy from Detroit lol. When I first saw the "My Name Is" video in 1999 I was awe struck cuz I'm thinking who's this white boy spitting these dope bars?! 

    Frendy: Why did you want to take music seriously?

    Trey: Because I had a moment when I was thinking 'bout all the new rappers coming up and it just hit me like: "yo! None of these cats are better than you". They don't rap better than you nor write better than you, but they do GRIND better than you so I guess that's why I'm here and they over there (...up there). At that moment I was like Man U gotta "Get up Get Out and Do Something", couldn't let this life pass me by. So yea, I've been grinding ever since.

    Frendy: What is your motivation to succeed?

    Trey: Primarily for self: Me. Myself....and I. Some may call it selfish but I strongly believe that in order to help others you must first help yourself. Better yourself before you can be a source of empowerment for another being. Another motivation is of course my family. We come from nothing. We still in the hood. As Jay Z stated, "I got nieces and nephews to look after" plus a lil brother, a mom and sister who I need to provide Better Dayz for.

    Frendy: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Trey: As the number 1 person in music and entertainment. Also the head of an innovative, culture shifting, very successful Empire.

    Frendy: Explain to me the visual of the single that I'm about to premiere?

    Trey: When coming up for the video for my single "Calm Vibes", I wanted to build on what I did on the record and take it next level. The dark, trippy, grimy aesthetics are consistent with the song and New York City. I wanted to bring that 90s NYC feel to it with the posse cuts and us mobbing thru the streets on some Wu Tang/G-Unit shit.”

    With that said, check out the music video below.  Oh, and make sure you switch the tube to 1080p HD quality for full indulgence. Enjoy!

  • The Code: No I.D Part 2

    I am pleased to showcase part 2 of Julian Mitchell’s interview with Dion “No I.D” Wilson.  The intimate sit-down is a part of the talented writer’s column titled The Code on Forbes online magazine where he conducts conversations with today’s biggest names in entertainment.

    During this segment, the multi-dimensional music producer speaks on sitting with Kanye West and creating the blueprint for 808's and Heartbreaks, his meetings with Rick Rubin that led to accepting the helm at Def Jam Recordings, the downfall of genres, and what works for artists like Iggy Azalea and Jhene Aiko

    Indulge Below:

  • Artist Submission: MeloD

    What’s good everyone! Allow me to present a new section on the blog specifically created for Artist Submissions. I took a huge break from acknowledging tons of up and coming artists I personally knew simply because the love shown to them was hardly reciprocated.  With the site’s rising popularity, I thought it was best to return to my charitable ways but in a more professional, business manner.  If you’re interested in being featured, simply shoot me an email to describing your body of work, providing pictures and any links pertaining to it. I’ll then dish the necessary information (fee) to continue our venture.  Looking forward to hear what y’all got cooking up!

    The very first artist to be showcased goes by the name of Darrell Branham better known as MeloD.  I was introduced to the rising Rapper by the homie James Stephens-Anderson who’s been supporting me heavily ever since our initial encounter at BAPE earlier this year. The West Atco, New Jersey raised lyricist began his craft at the age of 13.  He states, “my boy Chris Brown used to bang the pencils on the lunch tables and me and all my boys would rap. I then started putting the flip phones up to the computer speaker to record myself. I remember my boys had me on they ringtones off the Bubba Sparxx “Bojangles” Instrumental (haha)”.

    At the age of 11, MeloD moved from his hometown to Sicklerville, NJ. Four years later, he met Malik Holland who introduced him to the streets of Camden. “I fell in love with the city life and the vibrations of music.  Sitting in the studio on top of a barbershop on Haddon Avenue listening to my cousin Ace "Ace Groove" mixtape. I started off watching him and my bro Leek record and I sat back and learned the craft.  I just loved being amongst the people feeling the energy and from that point on I just knew if I could get good enough I can make a name for myself out here”.

    The time has come for MeloD to shine!  Check out his latest offering below:


  • Happy Birthday Charlie

    Yesterday, hoods across the globe celebrated the birthday of Hip Hop’s Waviest king  Max B.  The Harlem hustler is currently in jail facing a 75-year sentence but that doesn’t stop his legacy from flourishing.  Erick Shaw, my former co-worker at BAPE, paid a tribute to Biggavelli (his first cousin) by showcasing a very rare picture of them on Instagram.  He captioned, “happy birthday Charlie, I miss you more than you even know.  But I got a strange feeling God’s conjuring up something for you soon, I can feel it”.

    Four days before Max’s birthday, one of his close friends Chinx Drugs was fatally shot in Queens.  Revolt TV caught up with the incarcerated lyricist to get his feelings on the unfortunate passing:

    The senseless violence truly has to stop and with the elevated conscious of former street legends change can actually occur.

    To read my exclusive sitdown with Erick on the personal memories with his iconic cousin, click HERE.

  • LSD

    A$AP Rocky channels his inner Jimmy Hendrix in the latest single rightfully titled “LSD”.  The diamond-grillin’ spitter has blatantly admitted that he does partake a bit in psychedelics and it shows with this hallucinatory jam.

    To keep it clean, the song is potent! I’m just a little worried about the bad “trips” all of Flacko’s fans will experience after following his hippy ways. Recreate safely kids (haha).

    Check out the visual below:


  • Remy Banks Is Higher

    Aw man, much love to the homie Remy Banks for finally unleashing his long awaited debut solo Rap project coined Higher. It takes an incredible amount of patience to fully complete a godly body of work and thats the challenge a true artist is willing to undergo. As the Jigga man himself stated, difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week!

    Rem’s mission is to bring back the essence of true New York rap with his slick Queens vernacular.  This is truly commendable start.

    Indulge below:


  • Up For Days

    Earlier today, I paid my good friend Gus a visit. As we caught up on each other’s lives he told me about his festive evening at NYC hotspot Up & Down. He stated “I know A$AP Yams passed away (RIP) but one of the guys in The Weeknd’s entourage looked alot like him”. After hearing that unique description I automatically knew that it was Ahmad Balshe better known as Belly.

    I was first introduced to the potent Palestinian Canadian rapper a couple weeks ago on Merlin Bronques’ snapchat where he presented exclusive behind the scenes footage of Belly’s forthcoming music video for “White Girls” featuring Travis Scott.  With only a couple seconds of hearing playback, I knew this dude had some fire!  

    Luckily, Re(belly)us just dropped a full project titled Up For Days that the whole world can intake.  It features his XO superstar comrade, Coke Boy French Montana, Dipset’s Juelz Santana and obviously La Flame.

    Indulge in Belly’s latest tale below:


  • Everyday

    Not too long after his public speaking duties at the Red Bull Music Academy Festival in NYC, the self-proclaimed Pretty Flacko unleashes an absolute banger titled “Everyday”.  The ferocious tune features the unlikely yet sonically intact pair of Miguel and every mother’s favorite crooner Rod Stewart.

    Unfortunately, Rocky recently stated that his album At.Long.Last.ASAP will be pushed back all the way to June 2nd.  Hey, at least we won a great consolation prize with this Mark Ronson produced scorcher!

    Indulge below:


  • Diddy Tops Forbes Hip Hop List

    “I’m the definition of Half Man, Half Drugs!” is the infamous proclamation made by Diddy in his 2001 banger Bad Boys For Life during his P. Diddy Days (yeah, the “P” isn’t there anymore). It’s been quite some time but the statement still holds firm ‘til this day as he is ranked #1 on Forbe’s Top 5 Wealthiest Hip Hop Act’s list.

    To keep it clean, I thought Dr. Dre was going to headline the landmark list due to his lucrative Beats deal but it’s apparent that the colossal business move doesn’t stand a chance next to Mr. Comb’s numerous dealings. You name it and Diddy’s got it. Spanning from liquor partnerships, clothing line, all the way down to a multimedia network!  The Jigga Man himself just bought and re-launched Scandinavian streaming company Tidal but with every new venture there are still some kinks to be worked out.  Growth is definitely needed in that department to propel Jay Z once again in Forbes' top Rap food chain!

     Check out the list below.  For more information, click HERE.

    1. Diddy – $735 Million

    2. Dr. Dre – $700 Million

    3. Jay Z – $550 Million

    4. 50 Cent – $155 Million

    5. Birdman – $150 Million

  • OVO 2015 Spring Lookbook

    Drake is an international mega star trumping all of his peers in the world of music.  It’s only right that he takes his unprecedented power into other realms! Recently, the 6 God unleashed the lookbook for the 2015 spring collection of his OVO line.

    To keep it clean, I’m not really sure if Drizzy is going to extend this endeavor into a bigger fashion entity but it’s definitely not your average artist “merch”.  The boy bringing velour back (as well as ‘Ye) so let’s definitely give him a round of applause (haha).

     Indulge in the looks below:

  • ASAP Rocky Is CRWN'D

    Last Week, Elliott Wilson sat down with ASAP Rocky during the Tribeca Film Festival happenings to conduct his infamous CRWN questionaire series.  In the two part interview, Mr. Wilson dives head first (pause) into the PMF's world of music, fashion and hallucinogens!

    Check out the outcome below:

     Watch part 2 HERE.

  • Nas' Resurrection

    According to Billboard, Nas is prepping to unleash his first album in a whopping 3 years!  Over the weekend during a concert in Orlando, the Queensbridge God MC gloriously announced that he will be releasing a studio project during the summer of 2015.

     It feels like yesterday when I attended a Hot 97 sponsored event headlined by Mr. Jones during his Life Is Good campaign (circa July 2012).   Even though he hasn’t released any concrete body of work since then, Nasir has been making a slew of calculated power moves that include a performance in the recent NBA All-Star game.  Furthermore, he even launched the indie label Mass Appeal Records in 2014.

     We could only wait and see if Nas’ no-named album really does drop in a couple months.  I’m sure it won’t disappoint as always!

  • Frendy Lemorin x Mass Appeal

    It is my great honor to present the awesome interview that I had with Mass Appeal.  As mentioned afore, I almost declined the exclusive sitdown but after a much needed pep talk with Gyasi (who served as my interviewer) our regularly scheduled program remained.

    Indulge in the full interview by clicking on the link picture below.  Enjoy!

  • Remy Banks is N1go

    The homie Remy Banks of the infamous Queens Rap collective World's Fair has just unleashed a celebratory club-banger titled "N1go".  The slick talking New York spitter actually played this joint to me during my last few weeks at BAPE NYC. Upon first hearing I automatically knew it was going to be a serious fan favorite!

    It's obvious that Remy's love for A Bathing Ape apparel cuts deeper than a shark bite so one could infer that the song's title was inspired by the General Nigo himself. Uhmm maybe?  Here's what he had to say about the tune's meaning to BillBoard, "To me, N1go is the one.  Like Neo was the one in the matrix, he's the one when it comes to the fashion I'm drawn to. He's that n---- and when I'm out functioning (which is rare), I feel like that n----!".

    With that said, Indulge in the Black Noi$e produced jam below:


  • U Mad

    "Oh U mad unh?!?"  That is the infamous question asked on Vic Mensa's collosal new track featuring his Wolves' partner Kanye West.  The answer to this inquiry is most certainly "yes" from the haters of course.  They want to see you do good but never better than them but Vic as well as the homie Stefan Ponce (who co-produced this track) is surely kicking their sonic competitor's ass!

    Indulge in the fiery, taunting anthem below:


  • All About The M'$

     Right on the heels of landing a second coveted Complex Magazine cover, Harlem's Golden (grilled) Boy A$AP Rocky unleashes the money gettin' anthem rightfully titled "M'$". No, it doesn't stand for 'M Dollas' but rather "Millions n*gga! ".

    The Honorable C.N.O.T.E and Mike Dean produced hit can most likely be found on rocky's forthcoming album A.L.L.A.  Shit, with Mike being in the scheme of things I won't be surprised if Yeezus finds a perfect track to bless on The PMF's body of work.  

    Welp, until then indulge below:


  • Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2

    Happy New Year everybody!  Last night as you were getting ready for the NYE festivities, A$AP Rocky took it upon himself to unleash the much awaited single "Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2".  As most of you know, the Nez & Rio produced banger was teased in Flacko's "Multiply" video a while back ago so it's awesome to finally indulge in the full version.

    Hope most of y'all were able to attend his shinding last night in SoHo, looked crazy out there!

  • Max B: The Real Story

    Merry Christmas everyone!  Y'all been rocking with the kid for quite some time now and my appreciation runs deeper than Richie Rich's stocking full of gifts.  To commemorate such blessed occasion, allow me to present a special piece on Charles Wingate better known to the hoods of the world as Max B.

    For years now there has been tons of speculations surrounding the Harlem street legend but as you know there's two sides to a story and then the truth.  It is my pleasure to introduce the homie and fellow BAPE employee Erick Shaw who just so happens to be related to Biggaveli.

    Below is the transcript of our brief sitdown pertaining to his immortalized cousin:

    Frendy:  You've been working at BAPE for about a year now and it was only 2 months ago that I found out you were related to Max.  I'm assuming only a few individuals know about your relation to him?

    Erick:  Yeah.  It's funny how people come across or figure it out lol.  I usually do a good job of keeping it a secret.  The only people that really know that I'm related to him besides my family obviously is my closest friends.  They actually got to meet him.  For those that don't know and aren't aware, he and I are 1st cousins.  His mother and my mother are sisters.  My mother being the baby and his mother being the eldest female out of 8 kids.  We make up 10 grand-kids so it's a big family lol.

    Frendy:  What's your fondest memory of Max?

    Erick:  I have a few fond moments of my cousin and I.  It's funny because he considers me his favorite so I take that to heart.  One memory I have is when I was little, his sister and I used to always come home from school and play Super Mario on Nintendo.  We'd get to the last level and no matter how hard we'd try we could never beat it.  Charlie would come from outside doing whatever he was doing in the street and we'd tell him to help us out.  He'd beat Bowser in 2 minutes flat!  Made it look so easy lol.  Another memory that I have with him is when I graduated High School and he surprised me by showing up.  Everyone was so shocked to see him.  Here I am carrying a normal convo with him as if it's nothing while everyone's jaws are dropped.  That was a pretty cool moment for me.

    Frendy:  For those who don't know, explain Max's relevance in Hip Hop and how did his nickname "Biggaveli" come about?

    Erick:  Well, that name comes from 3 artists.  Bigga is Biggie and Jigga is Jay Z and of course Veli at the end for 2Pac.  Those were the artists that he looked up to coming up and that's how the name came together.  He does everything to the max so "Max Biggaveli".  He's responsible for alot of the lingo in New York including the iconic word "Wavey" and "Owww".  Max put out hood classics like the "Public Domain" series, the "Domain Pains" series and of course mentoring French Montana into what he is today.  And to think, he was primed to be something big.

    Frendy:  Did you know much of his street life?

    Erick:  I was still pretty young to comprehend his street activities.  As I got older, I started to piece things together.  He spent alot of time in and out of jail with his two brothers Michael aka "Mike Murder" and Eric (who was murdered).  Charlie was the only brother out of the three to have both parents around (for the most part) but the streets still called his name and majority of the time he answered. 

    Frendy:  To be honest, I really don't know the set of events that led to Charles' arrest.  Can you elaborate on that situation?

    Erick:  Basically what happened was, there were two desperate parties attempting to rob the same person/persons and claimed that my cousin was the mastermind behind it all.  Mind you, he wasn't even present at the time.  If my knowledge serves me right, he was doing shows when it happened.  If I'm correct, Max was found guilty for 9 out of 11 counts for Manslaughter and Conspiracy to commit robbery.  SMH, It truly hurt me because before that he was in jail facing a 2 million dollar bail that was later paid.  To just have him home and then I gotta see him go alot.

    Frendy:  Any update on when he'll be free?

    Erick:  There are alot of dates people are giving out.  From what I know, he still has to do a considerable amount of time.  On a positive note, he's got a new lawyer team and is fighting for a retrial.  As for as release date.....that's in God's hands.

    Frendy:  Do you still keep in contact with Charles?

    Erick:  Of course!  If I'm not speaking to him, I'm speaking to my aunt about him.  Last time I spoke to Charlie was like a month and a half ago.  He was trying to have me work with one of his engineers to  make music and before that he tried to get me to work with Dame Grease.  I can't front Grease was kind of a asshole lol.  That's another story though...

    Frendy:  What's Max's biggest misconception?

    Erick:  People seem to think that he's this troublemaker but that's not the case.  We all make bad decisions.  He just tried to live his life and sometimes the company you keep can also be your downfall.

    Frendy:  Any thoughts of working in the music industry like your big cuz?

    Erick:  Like him, music is also my passion.  I kinda want to take a different approach than him though.  Seeing him go through all of this and watching his life change from feeling like you had nothing to having it all and then having it taken from you....that will make anyone open their eyes!  It hurt me so much but at the same time it helped me realize what mistakes not to make, how to move, how to trust, and how people perceive you when you're down.  I learned so much from him and we didn't even spend that much time together because of his lfe decisions.  Despite it all, I still love and want to do music.  If there was an opportunity to work with Charlie I would in a heartbeat!  Not just because he's "Max B" but because I want to keep him close to me.  Keep him out of trouble and bond more as a family, doing something we both love.

    Frendy:  I appreciate your time E for giving us a deeper insight into Max's life and your relationship with him.  Any words you'll like to leave with the people?

    Erick:  I just want to say thank you to all of your loyal fans that have supported him for years.  Y'all mean the world to him and myself because you guys help keep his work alive.  We just gotta hope and pray that he gets his time to come home.  I guarantee if he does, things will be different.  He'll be staying home for good this time.  But again thank you and stay wavy.


    Written by: Frendy Lemorin